Jonathan Russell

My name is Jonathan Russell and I was born and raised in Dallas, TX. I've always been interested in drawing and the automotive industry so when I was a senior in high school, I decided to visit the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, MI and I fell in love with it. I have grown so much in artistic ability and understanding at this school. I started out wanting to be an automotive designer (I still do) but over the years of study, I have come to enjoy many areas of design, including motorcycle design, product design, and even developed a taste for crafts work and photography.

I am currently taking a semester off school to intern at BMW Motorrad (motorcycles) in Munich, Germany. My start date is March 1st and I will be there for 6 months!

I've done many projects at this school, stuff ranging from maglev rail cars for the year 2100 to redesigning the Porsche Panamera for the year 2016. My most successful project to date, in my opinion, is my Harley Davidson 1. My father has always been into motorcycles and that spirit has become apart of me as well, so when I had to the chance to do a sponsored project for Harley Davidson, I jumped at the opportunity. The brief for the project was to design a motorcycle that would appeal to men and women in the age bracket of 18-35, use an air cooled v-twin, and it had to use chrome in an interesting way. I took as many liberties as I could when I designed this bike and the biggest restraint I found was making a concept motorcycle with the brand identity of Harley Davidson but not having it look old. Harley Davidson's buyers today are men roughly in the ages of 40-60 so having my bike look young and fresh was a priority of mine. I looked to new technologies and to the only sport Harley Davidson is strongly involved in, AMA Flat Track Racing.

I got the basic dimensions of their flat trackers and then redesigned everything. I repackaged the oil tank, gas tank, battery, etc. into different areas to visually enhance the bikes aesthetic. I incorporated them above the v-twin to visually enlarge the v-twin. I then created a chrome body section that wraps on top of the tank, around to the bottom of the engine and all the way back to the seat. On this chrome section is lazer etched perforations so small that the eye can barely see. The neat thing about the perforations is that light still shines through (evidenced by Apple's Macbook Pro's sleep indicator light) Under these perforations would be OLED screens that would display graphics such as GPS and the tachometer and speedometer. This would also incorporate the tail lights and the turning signals. The interesting thing about having the screens under the surface is that the design of the features can change year to year without actually changing the body panels. It would allow yearly refreshes to the aesthetic without spending much money comparatively. I believe the end product turned out nicely and is a good concept for a younger vehicle for the Harley Davidson portfolio.

The project received quite a bit of attention and made it onto many blogs including Autoblog.com and Yankodesign.com.

Check out my DESIGN page for more of my design work.